Haynie, John (1786–1860)

By: Norman W. Spellmann

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: January 1, 1995

John Haynie, one of the founders of Methodism in the Republic of Texas, third son of Spencer and Catherine (King) Haynie, Jr., was born on April 11, 1786, in Botetourt County, Virginia, and baptized in the Episcopal Church. In 1805 the family moved to a farm near Knoxville, Tennessee. Haynie joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1809 and requested a license to exhort. In 1810 he entered the mercantile business in Knoxville. He was licensed to preach in 1811 by the Holston District and ordained a local deacon by Bishop Francis Asbury in 1815 and a local elder by Bishop Enoch George in 1825. The same year he moved to Tuscumbia, Alabama, where he continued his life as merchant and preacher. He left for Texas late in 1838 and arrived at Velasco on January 8, 1839. By March he had settled his family in Bastrop County near the plantation of his son-in-law, John Caldwell.

Haynie preached his first sermon in Texas at Bastrop in May and participated in the famous Methodist centenary camp meeting near Rutersville in October. The first session of the Texas House of Representatives to meet in Austin elected him chaplain, an office he held for three years. For his service the Congress of the Republic of Texas gave him 640 acres in Bastrop County. In December he was received on trial in the Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Church and appointed to establish the Austin circuit. In 1840 he formed the first Methodist congregations at Austin and Nathaniel Moore's fort (near Webberville) and revived the congregation at Bastrop begun by Martin Ruter. Haynie attended the first session of the newly founded Texas Conference, which met at Rutersville on December 25, 1840, and was reappointed to the Austin circuit. In December 1841 he was received into "full connection" by the Texas Conference and appointed agent of the recently chartered Rutersville College. The following year he was assigned to the Rutersville circuit and moved his family to Rutersville. He again served as agent of the college in 1844.

Burdened by indebtedness, Haynie temporarily moved to Austin in 1845. During the summer he was chaplain of the Convention of 1845, which approved annexation of the republic by the United States and drew up a new constitution. He claimed credit for the clause that made clergymen ineligible for election to the legislature. He was readmitted to the conference in 1846 and assigned to Corpus Christi. When war with Mexico broke out, he returned to his family in Rutersville and finished the conference year on the Bastrop circuit. Although he was placed on the supernumerary list in 1847, he was appointed assistant on the Egypt circuit. The following year he retired to his farm near Rutersville.

Haynie married Elizabeth Brooks of Georgia in 1805, and they had eleven children. His daughter Lucinda married John Caldwell, who served in the House and Senate of the republic and the state Senate. Samuel G. Haynie was a son of John Haynie, who died on August 20, 1860, at his farm near Rutersville and was buried at La Grange, Fayette County.

Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (Nashville: Southern Methodist Publishing House, 1845–1923). Macum Phelan, History of Early Methodism in Texas, 1817–1866 (Nashville: Cokesbury, 1924); A History of the Expansion of Methodism in Texas, 1867–1902 (Dallas: Mathis, Van Nort, 1937). Loyce Haynie Rossman, comp., A Haynie Genealogy (Fredericksburg, Texas, 1963).


  • Religion
  • Methodist

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Norman W. Spellmann, “Haynie, John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 05, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/haynie-john.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995